As he absconds to Qatar, his influence is undeniable. But is it for good or ill? My latest in FrontPage:
“Not many people make national news by bringing a homemade clock to school,” gushed Time as it named Ahmed Mohamed to its list of “The 30 Most Influential Teens of 2015.” “But the ninth grader’s arrest, after teachers and authorities mistook said clock for a bomb, kicked off a national debate over racial profiling—and a outpouring of support for Mohamed, who was personally invited to the White House by President Obama (who called his clock ‘cool’). In October, he accepted a full scholarship to a prestigious school in Qatar.”
Racial profiling? Really? What race is jihad terror again? What race is carrying what could be a bomb to a school? I keep forgetting.
In any case, Time’s selection was perfectly fitting. Ahmed Mohamed probably deserves to be on the list more than any of the other 29 teens. As he hobnobbed with world leaders and was hailed as a hero by the international media, his influence was undeniable; the only question was whether it was a positive or a negative influence.
For Time and its mainstream media colleagues, of course, there was no question that Ahmed was a positive influence. He was a symbol of everything the media wants us to believe about Muslims and Islam: that Muslims are inventive, hard-working, industrious, and unjustly harassed by an out-of-control, racist and “Islamophobic” law enforcement establishment.
Forgotten in all the media excitement over this living, breathing confirmation of their narrative was the inconvenient fact that Ahmed Mohamed didn’t build anything. He just fit existing clockworks into a pencil box. His arrest was a hysterical overreaction, but not “Islamophobia”: school officials nationwide have acted in similar ways with non-Muslim students because of the zero tolerance policy on weaponry. There are ominous implications of this entire episode, with the inevitable effect that school officials will be wary of stopping Muslim students with suspicious objects — making Barack Obama exceedingly irresponsible, or worse, for joining in the lionization and canonization of this boy.
His family’s decision to move to Qatar now makes matters even worse. It demonstrates that despite the fact that the whole world has lined up to praise and reward Ahmed Mohamed for being a putative victim of “Islamophobia,” he and his family are clinging tenaciously to victim status. As the Washington Post noted, Ahmed was showered with support from “Facebook founder Mark Zuckerberg, Democratic presidential candidate Hillary Rodham Clinton and Google co-founder Sergey Brin,” while “Tweets, think pieces and daytime TV segments were dedicated to dissecting how Ahmed’s situation typified racism and Islamaphobia [sic] in America,” and he “visited the Google Science Fair, met with Sudan’s President Omar al Bashir, posed with the queen of Jordan at a United Nations Summit, appeared on the ‘Doctor Oz’ show and last night, made it to the White House.”
Ahmed is the darling of the political and media elites, and yet, according to a family friend, “Everybody’s vilifying him, and he’s not a villain.” Everybody? Obama and Zuckerberg and Clinton and Sergey Brin and Omar Bashir and Ban Ki-moon and the Queen of Jordan are vilifying him? The mainstream media, with its endless series of weepy creepy pieces denouncing the school and glorifying Ahmed — they’re vilifying him?
Probably the family friend is referring to those who have pointed out that the school officials acted in a manner consistent with how school officials act, and that therefore the “Islamophobia” charge was unwarranted and the adulation of the boy misplaced. But to note those things is not to “vilify” the boy, and in any case, what are a few counter-jihad writers — who ourselves are genuinely vilified on a routine basis by the mainstream media — compared to the entire media establishment and the President of the United States? As the gifts streamed in from Microsoft and Google, and Presidents and monarchs line up to shake his hand, Ahmed was traumatized by a few posts on Jihad Watch and PamelaGeller.com, and the other sites that have met the media narrative with skepticism?
This ridiculous claim, and maybe even the move to Qatar as well, is likely related to the family’s earlier and equally risible claim that Ahmed, grinning broadly in photo after photo as he meets the world’s elites, has been “severely traumatized” by all this. They gave us that howler as they retained lawyers. Now, moving to Qatar to get away from the wave of “Islamophobia” that has engulfed poor Ahmed, they will likely be looking for those lawyers to deliver for them the coup de grace of this whole silly affair: a big payday.
We will be hearing more from this Influential Teen and his family.